Where are you from and/or where do you live now?
I’m lucky enough to have been born in Melbourne, one of the best towns to be a musician. I still really enjoy living here, but always need a getaway or two to keep the love alive!
How long have you been playing drums? And what initially drew you to the instrument?
I began drumming when I started high school in 1995, I was most drawn to drums because none of my friends wanted to play them and none of the other girls in my class seemed at all interested. I liked being different!
Do you play any other instruments?
I love to tinker on any instrument, I have been playing guitar for years and love tuned percussion. Piano was the first instrument I learnt when I was in primary school and every time I play one now I wish I had of stuck at the lessons for longer! I have also played a little bit of accordion, but that usually involves a lot of swearing when my fingers don’t go where I want them to….
What are you working on right now?
I’ve just released an album with my surf-rock instrumental band Hot Wings, it’s our debut album and we’re very happy to have it out in the world! We’re currently organising a tour to Mexico for May 2017, it’s fair to say we’re ecstatic about that!
What else are you (currently or previously) involved in (bands/shows/projects etc)?
There’s been a fair bit of recording this year, I also play in La Bastard and we finished recording our third album earlier in the year and will be releasing it in early 2017. We’re in the planning stages for our third European tour, which will happen in mid-2017.
I also recorded an alt-country album with a good friend Hana Brenecki in the middle of this year and have a couple of shows coming up with her and her rockstar band. The album will be released early 2017 and I’m really looking forward to doing some shows with her.
Outside of that, I’ve started jamming with an awesome new band Moody Beaches. There’s a few gigs booked for next year so we’ll see what happens!
Do you write music or develop your own shows? What are they about/how have they come about?
I have written a lot of music in my time, but it’s always more for my own enjoyment. I’ve written instrumental pieces incorporating guitar, percussion, glockenspiels etc. but have no real desire to perform it live.
Recently I bought a really cool drum machine, which is so fun to play around with. I really like so many different types of music and electronic music is one of those. The possibilities are endless with this machine! It is definitely much smarter than I am though….! I need more practice, but the plan is one day to be performing live with those songs.
What are your thoughts on collaboration in music and in the projects you’re involved in or the projects you run?
Collaborating is one of the best things to do! I thoroughly enjoy writing music and practicing certain things on my own, but it is so incredibly inspiring to collaborate with other people. Everyone thinks about things and hears things so differently and one person’s idea can take a song on a completely different journey. How exciting!
Who are you listening to/whose music are you enjoying right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Shirley Ellis, I adore early soul and funk and have been spinning Shirley so I can compile a CD for my nieces for Christmas. She has a lot of kid friendly/instructional songs and that means when I visit them, I won’t have to listen to the wiggles…..
Other than that, I’ve been spinning the new Howl At The Moon record, Some Jerks, Sandy Nelson, Ruth Brown, Marlena Shaw, Odetta and Barbara Dane.
Do you have any favourite drummers? Or other musicians who inspire you? why?
Favourite drummers would have to be Janet Weiss, Viola Smith, Sandy Nelson and Kashikura Takashi. All of these drummers are very musical in their approach to playing, something that is very important to me.
How would you describe the kind of music or projects you’re mostly involved in? And/or what kind of unique perspective/sound do you bring to these gigs?
La Bastard and Hot Wings definitely have surf-rock, garage and soul covered and I love playing all of these styles. I get to sit back and play very tastefully in the slower songs and I get to go completely bananas in the faster/rockier songs – another thing I love doing! I really love musical drummers and I try to incorporate that into my playing as much as possible. I can only hope my playing is as tasteful as I want it to be!
Do you have a particular warm up or practice routine? Or favourite exercises?
The best way to warm up for me is to put on one of my favourite records and sit down at my electronic kit, without plugging it in and just play single strokes for at least three entire songs. Once I feel like I’ve loosened up a bit I’ll start moving around the pads and just having fun with doubles and paradiddles etc.
After that I’ll usually run through any songs I’m feeling out of practice on and then I’m all set!
I should also say I like to do a few stretches before playing and a good old fashioned arm/hand shake to get the blood flowing!
Does social media play a big part in how you promote yourself as an artist and your various projects? Do you promote your work in other ways?
It definitely should, but I can’t tell a lie – I’m not even on facebook! I think it’s quite vintage of me to still rely on emails and phone calls, I still send letters too!
All of my bands are on social media in all its many forms and I think it’s a great way to promote music. Really, you have to have an online presence these days. Maybe one day I’ll get myself on there too, but at this stage I’m happy being a little bit removed from everyone’s daily thoughts!
Do you make a living from music? What different types of work does this comprise?
At various times in my musical career I have solely lived off musical earnings, but as most of us know – it hasn’t been the easiest road!
I’ve played in many a cover band, lots of weddings and taught for years, but I’ve found over time that I prefer work and music to be separate.
Music is the love of my life and I enjoy it so much more when I’m not worried about paying my bills. I work in an office as a casual, which is great for me because I take a fair bit of time off for touring and I need an employer that is understanding and flexible.
Where’s the coolest place that music has taken you?
It’s impossible to pick just one! Music has taken me so many places, more than I ever would’ve thought possible. I’ve played in the Middle East, South Korea, Europe, America, the Sydney Opera House, New Zealand and all across Australia. I feel extremely lucky with all the things I’ve done and am so excited about my upcoming adventures. I hope they never end!
If you could give your younger drumming self some advice what would it be?
Keep doing what you’re doing! I don’t have any regrets or wish I’d done anything differently. I was always a very passionate and dedicated student and almost never turned down gigs (even when I should have!). I have played with so many different people over the years and it all really helped my playing. I pushed myself in my playing and have met and worked with so many different people and personalities, you really never stop learning.
Music is one of the most humbling things to do, you know no matter how good you become, there will always be someone better than you. You will always be a student as there’s so much to learn. It’s fascinating and wonderful!